Pressure washing is a quick and efficient way to maintain your home, rinsing away dirt, moss, mildew and other substances from your surfaces. However, pressure washing correctly and safely is sometimes more difficult than it seems. The high-water pressure can damage some surfaces and it can be risky to try and pressure some areas on your own. Here are a few pressure washing safety tips to prevent injury and damage.
Wear the Right Gear
The stream that comes out of a pressure washer can cut into the flesh and cause serious injury. You don’t want to be wearing shorts and sandals when pressure washing around your home. Gear you should wear for protection include:
Pressure washing can do damage to some surfaces. Soft woods can be splintered by too high of pressure and paint can be removed from some surfaces. If you are not sure, try a small area that will not be noticeable or use the lowest pressure possible. Roofs can be severely damaged by the wrong pressure, which can be a very expensive mistake.
Have a Partner
If you will be pressure washing on the street or on the roof, you need someone to help you for safety. They can watch for traffic; you don’t want to accidentally spray a bicyclist or pedestrian with high-pressured water. They can also be there to help secure a safety harness if you are working on the roof.
Hire a Professional for Big Jobs
The best advice for safety is to hire a professional pressure washing service for big jobs. Cleaning roofs, driveways and decks can have many safety and damage risks. Let the professionals do these larger projects to avoid injury or expensive damage around your home.
Posted on behalf of:
Impact Pressure Washing
105 Commerce Drive
Fayetteville, GA 30214
Many homeowners new to power washing mistakenly think that a professional cleaner can only do a good job cleaning their home’s exterior if they use very high pressure. But that’s not the case at all. Usually when you hire a contractor, the company will use a technique called soft washing.
Soft washing streams water at a fairly low pressure rate of less than 1000 PSI, or pounds per square inch. With very high pressure washing, you risk damaging siding or even breaking windows, therefore high pressure, generally upwards of 3500 PSI, is reserved for industrial type jobs such as stripping paint off vehicles and, even then, it must be done in a controlled environment to minimize the risk of property damage or physical injury.
What to expect when your home is soft washed? Well, it a relatively simple process whereby the side of the building being cleaned is first wetted down with a liquid detergent. Professional cleaners usually have a range of products, depending on the substance being eliminated – algae, mildew, paint or dirt, for example. The product will also be environmentally safe, so plants and animals will not be harmed.
Once the detergent is applied, it is allowed to sit for a minute and then the pressure washing professional will start the rinsing process, beginning at the top of the building and working on down, saturating the surface and washing away the debris. Your home is left in a like new state, and there is no mildew – nor any damage – to be found.
All this being said, however, it is always a good idea to ask a lot of questions and make sure you know what chemical, if any, is being put on your siding. A true professional will never take offense.
Most people who need to clean the outside of their home, a driveway, basement or have any other large outdoor cleaning project use a pressure washer that cleans by blasting away dirt and debris by using water that has been pressurized up to 5,000 psi or more.
You can buy or rent a pressure washer and do the job yourself or hire a professional pressure washer. In either case, however, it is easy to do a lot of damage to your home or commercial building with an ordinary pressure washer. Water under very high pressure can very quickly damage siding, concrete, bricks, mortar, and stucco. It can drive water underneath siding and shingles and can damage the glazing or seals around window panes, causing the window to leak.
Inflicting damage with a pressure washer is most common with inexperienced homeowners, but even a professional can create a lot of damage before realizing it. To get good results with a pressure washer without causing damage you have use the right tip on the spray wand and use the least amount of pressure needed to get the job done.
Even then, sometimes damage is inevitable. For example, if you are washing bricks with soft mortar, the amount of pressure needed to clean the brick could severely damage the mortar.
Fortunately, there is a better way to clean large outdoor surfaces. Low pressure washing uses environmentally safe chemicals to clean the surface, followed by a large volume of low pressure water to rinse away the cleaning solution along with the dirt and debris. Low pressure washing techniques are safe for all surfaces and avoid the problems inherent with high powered pressure washers.
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